Cepheus, who hadn’t been seen since winning a newcomers race on debut 10 months prior, found the 2000 Guineas all too much on his return to action last month, but he showed up well in a warm Royal Ascot handicap last month, more than anything too inexperienced for a test of the sort. This is a much easier task however, up against some older, more exposed rivals, and with the step up in trip possibly able to eke out further improvement, he looks to have been found a good opportunity to double his career tally.
Youthful probably isn’t the easiest to train, off 13 months after going lame at Wolverhampton and not really sticking around for long when stepped up in trip for his turf debut at Yarmouth last month, but he proved a different proposition making his handicap debut at Leicester last time.
Presumably fitter for his belated return, and also looking better suited to a more restrained ride, Michael Bell’s charge made smooth headway out wide before being produced to lead under a couple of furlongs from home, keeping up to his work to see off some altogether more experienced sorts. The question is now whether he is sufficiently robust to go in again, but he remains undoubtedly the one to beat.
Swinley Forest stood a fair bit of racing as a two-year-old, but has plenty about him physically and, having been gelded, took his form up a notch when second over this course and distance on his return to action last month. He remains with the potential for further improvement, is drawn nicely, and has William Buick booked to take over in the saddle, so he had plenty going for him.
Could well be worth siding with at the price.
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